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Aug 18, 2009 06:17 AM

Restaurants in Harper's Ferry

My boyfriend and I will doing a 1-day road trip to Harper's Ferry over Labor Day weekend. I know very little about the area and therefore very little about the food scene there. We are looking for 2 lunch spots and 1 nice dinner spot. We will be going to Obelisk in DC that same weekend, so no need for a blow out meal. It would be nice to spend $100-$125 total for 2 people on dinner.

We would also love suggestions for a fun bar in town.

Any other foodie suggestions for the town/area are always welcome.

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  1. There's not much in Harper's Ferry other than a few little cafes that have beer, wine and mostly sandwiches. As far as a scene, there really isn't a whole lot. You can take 340 back into downtown Frederick where there are more choices. Plenty are discussed on this board, like Volt, Isabella's, Monocacy Crossing, Tasting Room, etc.

    3 Replies
    1. re: flavrmeistr

      How far is Frederick? I don't think we'll want to drive to Harper's Ferry only to drive back just for dinner...especially since that pretty eliminates wine.

      1. re: Elyssa

        It would be on your way back to DC. Are you going just for the day, or spending the night up there?

      2. Elyssa -- We did a day trip to Harpers Ferry around Labor Day last year, had a great time. For eating, you should search Shepherdstown on here, which is nearby and has a couple restaurants people really like. We just went to a local pizza place there (in Shepherdstown -- we did like it), so I can't speak to the nicer places. I think one is called Stone Soup and I can't remember the other that's often recommended. Right in HP, it's more like hotdogs and ice cream. You might think about taking a picnic to have along the river there. You'll see lots of people floating down the river with many sixpacks of beer. Be sure to do a park ranger tour. Have fun.

        4 Replies
        1. re: mselectra

          YES YES YES Stone Soup! Just walk around Harper's Ferry for a lunch spot, but definitely have dinner at Stone Soup. We try to get there once a year. It's one of our favorite spots. We like to just camp out at the bar and get a few appetizers with drinks before dinner. Just note that if there's a play that night at the Shepherdstown Theater Festival, it'll be packed until about 7.

          1. re: katecm

            Stone Soup looks great. Do you think we will need a reservation?

            1. re: Elyssa

              Not if you are willing to sit at the bar after 7. If you want to sit at a table, you will probably want one. It's a small space, so there aren't a ton of tables. Shepherdstown also has a few lovely shops, whereas Harper's Ferry is mostly historic. So, once you're done sight-seeing, you can kill an hour or two looking at pretty things before dinner. And try to stop at the general store just outside town. Soooo cute.

              1. re: katecm

                This is all great info! Plus I'm a really sucker for a good General Store so thanks for letting me know about it.

        2. I grew up in martinsburg around the corner (a couple nice spots there) and my buddy is a lawyer in she-town now so he helped. First off everyone is right not much in Harpers Ferry other than great hikes and history...walk across the train bridge then along the water and if you want it's a fun (couple hour) hike up and down Maryland Heights...the stone rock face you see across the water...but i digress.

          In Shepherdstown, yes to Stone Soup and to the Press Room. Go to 3 Onions for a drink. Yellow brick bank and Bavarian are more commonly known but I've heard from a few folks aren't as good as they used to be, but my last trip to the Bavarian happened to be excellent (last fall). I would definitely recommend trying Shepherdstown over going back to Fredneck to keep the 'historic' feel.

          2 Replies
          1. re: natewv

            I have to say it is a prettier drive up the river to Shepherdstown from Harpers Ferry than it is into Frederick. Your 150 bucks will go a lot further over in W(BG)Va. A room at the Bavarian overlooking the Potomac would be pretty sweet as well.

            1. re: natewv

              I lived and taught in Martinsburg for ten years. I still get back to hike and visit friends. I agree with everything you say about Shepstown EXCEPT the Yellow Brick Bank..way overpriced and overrated. I miss the farmers market in Shepstown. It was the best.

            2. For a quick lunch in Shepherdstown there is Maria's Taqueria with fresh homemade tacos, etc.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Suemelk

                you won't be disappointed in the Thai place (Kazu) as well.

              2. There is nothing of note in HF - forget it. Why not consider dinner at Lot 12 in Berkeley Springs? Its a bit farther than Shepherdstown but an easy drive to/from HF. Damian, the chef, and Betsy, his wife, offer a terrfic combination of skill, creative cuisine, interesting menu choices based on local ingredients (changes each night), warm reception and adherence to the slow food movement.

                I have been to Lot 12 four times in the past ten years and, IMHO, it compares favorably with many creative restaurants in DC (of course, not with the likes of Obelisk which is great). Damien uses local ingredients in innovative, interesting ways, prices for the quality offered are very reasonable, the wine list is good, the setting (a restored turn of the century home) is lovely. Labor Day should offer a great selection based on fresh local produce, meat and fish, duck, pasta.

                I have been to the Yellow Brick and Press Room - both are pleasant but by no means do either approach Lot 12. Avoid Bavarian - frumpy, stuffy and the schnitzel & cream choices are too heavy for Labor Day (better for October). You want to have a fun time with a nice weekend holiday meal.

                3 Replies
                1. re: wristband

                  How far a drive is Berkley Springs from Harper's Ferry?

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    The perk with Berkley Springs is if you stay the night there you can go to a cheap, fantastic spa the next day. And they have some cute shops.

                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      I second that comment. Berkeley Springs has wonderful therapeutic springs where people have been going for several hundred years to chill out. There are public baths - where you and your boyfriend can soak for an hour in a private room - or you can get a massage in a separate historic building run by the state park. There are also plenty of private spas in town that will (for a nominal fee) allow you access to their waters and a massage or other spa treatments. For example, the Country Inn in the center of town has modern spa facilities which allows you to pay only for a very nice soak. Go to the Inn or town's web site to see public vs. private baths. B.S. spa waters are terrific and historical - G. Washington took a famous bath here. Town center and the public bath houses look like something out of a 1930's detective novel or a Grisham story.

                      Why not drive up in the afternoon, go for a nice soak at 3, then have an early dinner at Lot 12? That would be a lot of fun and a relaxing time for you and the bf. The drive up is maybe 20-25 minutes. Enjoy Sheperdstown the next day.